Ah But Underneath
Last Edit: Chazwaza 07:36 pm EDT 06/21/24
Posted by: Chazwaza 07:24 pm EDT 06/21/24
In reply to: re: FOLLIES IN CONCERT at Carnegie Hall - EvFoDr 06:07 pm EDT 06/21/24

This is why I do tend to think intellectually "Ah, But Underneath" is a smarter song and more satisfying in terms of knowing her issue and internal monologue. However I'm not sure I'm convinced that it's better in the show, or that the pay off of the end hits the way it ought to. The song is so good, but the end, "sometimes when the wrappings fall there's nothing underneath at all" never quite made sense to me or felt accurate about her truth or how she sees herself.

I actually think emotionally L&J is better, it feels more true that she is stuck in this in-between of the past and the present (as so many people in middle-age are, and have to be almost) the innocent bliss and nostalgia for who she used to be and what she's made herself into since. Which fits more on the Follies themes too. And there's also the fact that Ben, the sophisticated man she wanted to be the perfect sophisticated wife for is at this party dreaming and wondering what would have happened if he'd married Sally, wanting that version of himself and her, the girl he may have actually loved instead of his wife. Phyllis surely is thinking about the person she gave up, the part of her that was much more like Sally when they were 19, to become who she is, and what is it even for if Ben actually wanted Sally the whole time?

I almost wish she could do Ah, But Underneath earlier in the show and then Lucy & Jessie in the Follies sequence. But of course that wouldn't work or make sense for the show.
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